People across the United States and India often joke and laugh about “shotgun weddings,” where a man is forced to make an honest woman out of a woman by marrying her, and if he were to refuse, he’d be staring down the barrel of a gun, which say somethin’ diff’rent. Usually it’s the bride’s father holding the firearm, and it’s almost always due to the girl having gotten pregnant.
Most people have never had to see one happen. However, a real-life shotgun wedding caught on video this week has taken the world by storm. Engineer Vinod Kumar was actually kidnaped from a friend’s wedding, beaten up or “thrashed” as they like to say in India by the bride’s family goondas, and then forced to get married at gunpoint at another location. He was brought there bound, as you can see in the video, and clearly against his will. It’s not funny at all. The poor guy cried during the ceremony, while it’s unclear whether the veiled bride on the left was trying to console him, or felt sad for what her family was doing to this guy. Fortunately, the police are investigating in this case, although sometimes people are even scared to report cases to a corrupt government apparatus which may do nothing but more harm.
It’s now 2018. Marriage kidnappings are unfortunately all too common in India, but usually it’s a woman who is captured to be the bride. Whether it’s a bride or groom, this type of behavior is completely illegal, morally unacceptable, and wholly unbecoming of a country that wants a larger role in world affairs. We show this video not as entertainment, but to inform and galvanize a society that should never let this happen to men or women, period.
Mahanth S. Joishy is Editor of usindiamonitor